As gamers, our controllers are the most crucial items in our arsenal, and while most of us are perfectly content with the standard first-party model that comes with our console, there are plenty of controllers out there designed to give you that competitive edge in both online and offline gaming.
I recently had the chance to try out a professional controller from Mega Modz – something I was really excited about – and I wasn’t disappointed.
For those of you who haven’t heard of the brand, they specialise in making high-quality pro controllers specifically designed for competitive gaming. There are several options available on their website – both pre-made and create-your-own – ranging from performance upgrades, such as mods and macros remap, to hardware upgrades, such as mechanical buttons and back pedals.
The controller I was given the chance to try out was the PS5 Tournament Gamepad – a controller that makes up for its lack of mods with its various hardware upgrades.
The first thing I want to point out is how good this controller looks. The team at Mega Modz allowed me to choose which controller I wanted, and I went for the Zombie Outbreak model. The picture doesn’t quite do it justice, but it looks absolutely amazing. With a striking design, contrasting red and white colour scheme and a glossy finish, it really pops.
Mega Modz uses the official DualSense controller as the base for their PlayStation controllers, so I was expecting the build quality to be good, and I wasn’t disappointed. Improvements to the original design have been made, however. The Mega Modz controller features a performance non-slip grip shell that helps you keep a secure grip during longer sessions and a trimless front shell that adds to the overall aesthetic with its sleek design. All in all, it both looks and feels good.
Features and Functionality
As good as the controller looks, nobody is going to shell out upwards of £200 just for the aesthetic appeal, so now I’ll get into the essence of this review – the features that make it different from the standard controller.
Swappable Analog Sticks
The Tournament Controller is all about customisation, so it comes with four sets of analog sticks designed to optimise your grip and cater to your playstyle – two sets of concave and two sets of convex with the option of tall or short sticks. The shorter sticks prioritise speed, whilst the taller ones allow you to be more precise, so you can choose which best fits your playstyle. Personally, I’ve found that I prefer the shorter concave sticks, but they are easy to swap in and out, so there’s no reason you can’t experiment and see what works best for you.
Mechanical Face Buttons and Smart Triggers/Bumpers
The standard face buttons have been replaced with mechanical buttons. I’ll admit I was a bit skeptical about them being little more than a gimmick, but they do their job well. With less travel distance than those on the standard buttons, they’re snappy and responsive, but they don’t feel cheap like some of the third-party controllers I’ve tried. This is particularly useful in online shooters, but they’re also handy for those high-stakes boss battles – I’m talking about Souls-like games where your timing with the dodge or block button needs to be spot on if you want to avoid that frustrating screen of defeat.
The smart triggers and bumpers work in a similar way. Designed to be fast and responsive, there is much less travel distance when compared to the standard controller. They’re clicky, so they mimic the speed and responsiveness of using a mouse. This is great for shooters but can take a little getting used to when it comes to other gaming genres. This controller is marketed as a tournament controller, but if you’re spending that sort of money, you’re going to want to be able to use it for other games too.
To test its suitability, I tried it with God of War: Ragnarok, Spider-Man: Miles Morales, and Hot Wheels Unleashed – all games where the triggers are especially important to both the gameplay and immersion of the game.
It’s worth noting that the trade-off for the level of speed and responsiveness you get with the tournament controller is that you don’t get the same feeling that comes with the adaptive triggers of the original DualSense. To me, this wasn’t too big of an issue as I find the utilisation of adaptive triggers to be lacking outside of PlayStation exclusive games. The difference wasn’t as noticeable as I’d expected in the first two games, but I did notice that there was less control over the throttle with Hot Wheels. The game wasn’t unplayable by any means, but it just didn’t feel right, so I’ll probably stick to my DualSense for any racing games.
Remappable Back Buttons
The standout feature, without a doubt, is the remappable back buttons. This particular controller comes with four buttons, but if you’re creating your own, you can opt for two to lower the price a little or have the option to include mods.
I was a little confused about how to program the buttons at first, but once I found the right instructions, it was a fairly easy process, and they also walk you through how to cancel any button configurations you’ve set. The important thing to remember is that once you’ve remapped your buttons, you exit programming mode, or the buttons won’t work.
The benefit of this, of course, is having that extra freedom to make the controls work for you. Personally, I’ve found it particularly useful to reassign dodge/block functions to the back buttons so I don’t have to move my thumb from the analog stick to perform the action.
Again, it takes a little getting used to – my first few hours were spent either forgetting to use the back buttons or pressing them by accident – but, in my opinion, the outcome is worth the slight learning curve.
There’s no denying that the Tournament Controller is an expensive investment, but if you have the extra cash and are looking for a decent pro controller that performs well andlooks great, it’s definitely worth looking into.
With smart triggers, mechanical face buttons, and remappable back buttons, it prioritises speed, responsiveness, and convenience, making it a great choice for online shooters. That said, it works just as well with the majority of genres.
I’m not massively into racing games, and the lack of adaptive triggers wasn’t a deal-breaker for me, so this has become my new primary controller. That said, if it is a deal-breaker for you, there are plenty of other options on their website, including the option to create your own.